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Volume 71, Issue 12, Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Life & Arts

Gallow's LP proves he works best alone

A While Ago Somewhere

Roger Vacovsky III

Vincent Gallo, the writer/director/star of Buffalo '66 and more recently The Brown Bunny would like you to know that for his only official solo album to date, 2001's When, all of the songs on the album were written, performed and produced by him. 

He is a man who works best on his own, when he is in control, and if anyone tries to meddle in his affairs, he'll be sure to let you know in some form of public statement, be it in a magazine interview or on his Web site 

Famous for burning bridges and badmouthing former collaborators, Gallo, it would seem, is destined to be alone, whether or not it would be of his own devices. 

His songs on When reflect this, almost confessionary of his sadness. "Yes, I'm lonely" content-wise is as obvious in its meaning as it is in its title, containing lyrics like, "I'm always sad when I'm lonely." Gallo switches his voice track between verses in dramatic stereo-output fashion creating a drowsy croon over guitar feedback. 

Metronomes seem almost void throughout the record as randomly placed drum samples interject ethereal Mellotron hums and unstructured acoustic picking, all adding to his dreamy despair.

The lyrics maintain their simplicity on other gems like "Honey Bunny" and "Apple Girl." Every song seems to be about a different girl, and nearly every tune presents an "If you leave, I'll be sad" scenario.

Before the world made a new friend in Paris Hilton, Vincent Gallo immortalized her in "I wrote this song for the girl Paris Hilton," the instrumental opening track bearing no lyrical reference to the megastar.

Though he hasn't produced any current work musically, Vincent Gallo's movie The Brown Bunny, a desert epic co-starring Chloe Sevigny, was horrifically booed at Cannes as one of the worst movies ever shown there. 

You might remember Gallo most recently as the streetwalking dirtbag in a couple of split-second scenes in Jay-Z's music video for "99 Problems." In the brief footage Gallo accurately portrays a misunderstood maniac, a lonely drifter and perhaps ... a tortured musical genius.

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